Ribbon cut on South Hayes Street makeover

With the fashion center in the background, these planters are part of the renovations along Hayes Street. (WTOP/John Aaron)

ARLINGTON — Walking, biking or driving is officially easier in one congested part of our area.

After more than two years of construction, leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a revamped section of South Hayes Street, near the Pentagon City Metro stop.

Before the makeover, “It was kind of unsightly, frankly,” said Virginia Congressman Jim Moran. “In addition to being unsightly, it was unsafe,” he said in remarks before the ceremony.

The effort, called the Pentagon City Multimodal Project, brought advanced crosswalks, wide sidewalks, continuous bike lanes and a prominent Capital Bikeshare station to a busy quarter-mile stretch of road.

“It’s a safer place to walk now, or ride your bike, or park your bike, or even commute,” says Katherine Youngbluth, Capital Project Management Coordinator with Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services.

The project incorporated green features, like 11 “rain gardens”, which Youngbluth says “basically clean out storm water,” and are similar to pits that house trees, except these will feature smaller plants.

In order to make the area more pleasing, LED accent lighting was installed, along with more public seating areas.

Leaders say the project came in at just under its budget of $9.1 million, with a large chunk of the money coming from the federal government.

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